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SUMMER 2013

priceless

great art is

SU M M E R 2 0 1 3
The Silver Lining is a collection of art and literature by the Silver Hill Hospital Community. All of the work published in The Silver Lining is created by patients, alumni, volunteers and staff. The Silver Lining is a forum for healing and creative expression. Silver Hill Hospital 208 Valley Road New Canaan, CT 06840 800-899-4455 www.silverhillhospital.org Staff Advisor: Elizabeth Moore, Chief Operating Officer Editor: Heather Porter Associate Editor: Alex Kielland Design: New Leaf Graphic Design Special thanks: Lauren Alcan Anne Romano Frank Bordonaro Andrea Scheyhing Cheryl Card Lisa Ruggiero Pam Davis Katie Sciarrino Alexandra Gray Debra Singleton Allie Price Katie Wieting Front cover art: Hannah Submissions may be sent to: silverlining@silverhillhospital.org or Silver Hill Hospital Community Outreach Dept. 208 Valley Road New Canaan, CT 06840

Copyright 2013. The Silver Lining is a publication of Silver Hill Hospital. Please, no unauthorized copying without written permission. All rights remain with contributing authors and artists.

this maga zi says ne no t stigm o a

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

S u mmer 20 13

Hannah

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Dear Steve, My name is Pain, and I have been around since the beginning of time. Sometimes I am large and sometimes I am small. No matter my size, I can invade your smallest pore, the slightest crack in your armor. You know me well; I have visited you many times. Most times you kicked me out of your bodily house through various methods. Whether it was medication, the surgeons knife, or simply time, you didnt let me stay. But I am patient and pure evil, always looking for an opportunity to test your defenses, your spirit and your very soul. You made things fairly easy for me, with all your physical activity, very often at higher levels than most, you left open many doors to walk through unimpeded. Now you are trying a new method to evict me, but I am very strong, and have found a good home in you. Beware my persistent malevolence; I wont go without a fight. So it wont be easy. See you soon my friend, be on your guard if you hope to have a chance of beating me. Most Sincerely, PAIN

Dear Pain, Though you are persistent, I am still standing, and still fighting. Ive become stronger mentally and physically, and clearly it has become harder for you to inflict yourself on my life. You still live in my house, but you no longer get the best chair or the softest bed, and never will again. Just because Ive accepted the fact that you probably are a lifelong tenant, and that you are both cunning and evil, doesnt mean that I will let you call the shots. I may bend, but I will not break. As I said, Ive gained much strength, and new weapons to keep you at bay, and even though the battle is not yet decided, the tide certainly has turned. I know you will try new tricks and continue to attempt to pierce my armor, but I am prepared. I am not the soft, easy target I once was, and will gain strength every day. Even as the fight continues, please note that you are the tenant and I am the landlord. Soon you will be locked in a room to which only I have the key. Try to take it from me if you can. Sincerely, Steven

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

S u mmer 20 13

Tied Together With a Smile


Everyone knows me as the girl whos always happy, laughing, joking around. The one with the bubbly, loud personality. I keep up the illusion of being this outgoing, loud, happy person, so that no one suspects what is really going on inside of me. This isnt really who I am though. Inside, I am quiet, thoughtful, sad. Im lonely, depressed, and isolated. Letting people in scares me. It is much easier to pretend Im fine than to tell people that I struggle to put a smile on everyday. The sadder I feel, the happier I act to cover it up. My own parents havent the slightest clue what goes on inside of my head. The scariest moment of my life was opening up to my parents to tell them I needed help, and asking to go to treatment. It shocked them, because they had no idea that I was constantly fighting demons in my own mind. While I was cracking jokes and laughing, the voices in my head were telling me to hurt myself, to stop eating, to kill myself. They told me I didnt deserve to live. The reason I didnt reach out for help sooner is because these voices told me no one would care, I wasnt worth it, and I didnt deserve anyones help. When I was in treatment, I met people who I learned to trust. I learned to balance things. I learned that it is possible to make people laugh, and at the same time have the ability to open up to them and share with them how I truly felt. I vowed that when I got home from treatment and saw my friends again, I would stop covering things up. Instead of lying about being in the hospital, I wouldnt hide where I was from my peers, as I would have in the past. I would take off my mask, with the big smile painted on, and let down my walls. So when I came back to school, I told people that I was in the hospital to treat my depression, anxiety, and other related issues. Hearing about this shocked people. It shocked people so much that it scared me, and I have started to regret letting them in. I have since gone back to covering up how Im feeling. I felt too vulnerable when people always knew what was going on inside of my head. It makes me feel secure to be able to only share what I want to. I dont like people knowing every part of me. I feel uncomfortable when something depressionrelated is brought up, and people always glance towards me to see my reaction. Its scary to feel exposed, and I would rather hide it with a smile, a laugh, and a bad joke. Im trying to open up again, because isolating my true self from others isnt good for me, or my mental health. It depresses me more. I need to stop covering up my feelings with my loud voice and bubbly personality. My actions need to match my feelings. Its difficult to stop an illusion that I have kept in place since I was a little girl. At the same time though, I know that I need to. My illness is a part of me, and its something that I struggle with. I need to feel comfortable with that part of me in order to move on with the process of recovery. Letting people in again is scary, because I am so used to the safety of depression. My safe place is sadness, and having the security of hiding that place from everyone else with my bubbly personality is a relief.
Kate

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Main 3

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Thomas
6

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Finders of Sorrow
We have fallen from such high places into this pit. We did not seek our sorrow but we have found it or it has found us like a dark crystal that reveals itself at last as the beating heart at the bed of a broken shaft. Hold up this treasure so the pinpoint of distant light strikes deep into each facet. See. Here is sadness. There pain. Anger and perpetual loss. The prism of guilt and regret. These are the atoms and molecules of sorrow. Come, let me embrace you and whisper what we have known and forgotten. There is a name for the light that infuses these veins and cracks in our hearts. Finders of sorrow, you are blessed, for this light is as ever it was, Gods true love.
B.F.S.

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Throughout my life people have told me the age old saying, Everything Happens for a Reason. I always thought it was bull. I cant tell you how many times Ive heard it after I got into my accident. It used to make me cringe. Id tell someone the story & theyd say, without fail, Dont worry, things happen for a reason. And Id want to slap the crap out of them. I thought it was a cop out. The biggest piece of crap concocted to ease only the weakest of minds. Still to this day I have yet to come up with a solid reason why I lost my friend that night 19 years ago. It took away my hope, my collegiate career, and started me on my wayward path.
And then I met an Angel who changed my life forever... I arrived at Silver Hill on Wednesday February 27th, 2013 in a fog. Still without any hope that going there could change my life. All I knew was that I was exhausted. Exhausted from years of madness. I still had not figured out yet how insane I really was. Still angry on how I had screwed up my life. I kept replaying the previous weekend over and over in my head constantly beating myself up for being the boy that had consistentlyblocked his own shots at happiness and serenity. And totally frustrated because I hadnt figured out why... That first Saturday was a very rough day for me. It was my 1 week wedding anniversary. And I was in a mentalinstitution. All I could think about was my wife. Her family had moved her out of my house and back into her parents house within 48 hours of her leaving me, and within 72 hours of our wedding day. All I could think of was that she was in the room she grew up in, the room she dreamed of getting married in as a child. And now she was married, laying on our marital bed, crying and in pain. I knew I had crushed her. And in turn, that thought was crushing me. I dont really remember much of the morning or afternoon of that day. I just remember the 6pm meeting at the Scavetta House. I couldnt tell you what the speaker talked about that night. All I remember was totally breaking down and balling my eyes out like a newborn baby when it was my turn to Share. Honestly, I didnt even want to Share but the speaker went around the room until everyone in the house had spoken. I think I was the last one to Share that night as I was still very apprehensive about this whole process and was not yet the open book that is standing before you today. But as soon as I said, Hi my name is Eric and Im an addict my thoughts and tears came pouring out of me likeNiagaraFalls.

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

As I walked across the street after that meeting to the A.A. meeting at the Martin Center I felt like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown. But instead of walking around in a cloud of dust, I was engulfed in a vortex of my own crap and negativity. I have no clue what happened in that A.A. meeting as I was so far out in space in my head Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise could not have beamed me back to Earth. As I walked out of that meeting, a fellow patient approached me and held out their hand. Now mind you that at this point in my time there, I had only spoken to this person for about 20 seconds two days prior in the gym. They complimented me on my Pink Floyd shirt. And told me Pink Floyd was what they were listening to at the moment. I thanked them for the comment and went on my way. Not giving the encounter a second thought, mostly because all I could think about was my current predicament. So I extended my hand to this patient and received a note in my hand. But it was folded up so tiny, and my head was so messed up, at first I thought it was a bag of cocaine. I was so scared I dropped it. After I realized what it was I picked it up, acknowledged the nod with my own, stuck it in my pocket and walked back across the street to my room at the Scavetta House. Upon entering my room I took off my jacket, retrieved the tiny folded up note out of my pocket and then sat down at the edge of my bed, and opened it up.

And it read: You reached for the secret too soon, You cried at the moon, Shine On You Crazy Diamond And I lost it. I was floored. There was no way this person, all of 20 years of age, could have known about my emotional breakdown less then 2 hours earlier in the secure confines of the Scavetta House. There was just no way. It was utterly impossible. I stayed in my room for about 20 minutes soaking in my thoughts and tears. But by the time I walked out of that room I was sold. I truly believed for the first time in my life that things do happen for a reason. I am foreverindebted to this patient for that.I still cant put my finger on why I was involved in that accident, or why I lost my friend, or even why I blew up my wedding day. But that note, which will belaminated, framed, and installed on my night stand for the rest of my life as soon as I get home, made me open my mind. And if I didnt have an open mind I would not have been able to start healing. And without that note, I wouldnt have been able to believe in the power of Alcoholics Anonymous. But that is a story for another day.... Sincerely,
Eric

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Bria

10

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

My mind is blank and dark, I feel that everything that was good and joyful in my life has died, and the worst part is that I made it happen. I have nothing left but guilt and embarrassment. I wish I could have someone or something to blame but theres nothing left but myself. On the other hand I have people who love and care for me, but they cant replace what I have lost. They can just help me pick up the pieces of my broken existence and be supportive, but the pain still lingers, and I still feel like it wont go away but they say time heals all wounds, and I just have to trust in God that he will heal me and my mind and bring some sort of peace into my life and not replace what I have lost but to cherish the time I have with them if and when that may be if at all. The sun will shine and the rain will fall and somewhere in the middle will be me accepting it with a smile and some peace.
Terry

11

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Some Love for ACU

Whats not to love about ACU? Its fun for me and fun for you. Breakfast is served at eight oclock Unless its your turn for electroshock Before your discharge date arrives Youll learn to eat steak without some knives Friendly staff wherever you look Although the phones are always off the hook People come and go so learn faces Keep those shoes but ditch the laces There is life ahead of you Just have some fun at the ACU Look at this place like a mini vacation Though what meds are you on is the conversation Were all here for different reasons Try not to stay for too many seasons Make friends, family leaves at 7:30 Just dont make those air hugs too flirty We may have limited time for deck break But after dinner and lunch, have some cake There is life ahead of you Just have some fun at the ACU The people here will have your back You just need help so cut some slack Despite frustration, and sometimes strife Youre learning skills youll use for life The world out there can take its toll So wake up, vitals, state you goal Whether in your room or out of it Youre getting checked every 15 minutes There is life ahead of you Just have some fun at the ACU
Katelyn and Anna
12

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Jillian

When you think you know me Try to think again Because my mask may slip Any moment And youll see the real me And the real me is everything I should be
Pamela

13

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

This Poem is Not Perfect


When I was born my Mom said Shes perfect And Ive spent my life angry, its not true Within my mind, it says Im a reject. But here, I see me reflected in you. Im giving, caring and have much to share. I listen, am funny, and lay things bare. For all of us here, Ive so much respect, As we relinquish the false for the true.

Jaime

14

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Jillian

15

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Jillian

Anonymous
16

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

I am so grateful to be here. My life was slipping away as my weight got lower and lower. No matter How low the numbers got it was never enough. I just wanted to disappear so I didnt have to feel the pain. The pain of losing my Mom and Dad; Mom 5 years ago, and Dad in January. Ive done nothing close to my potential, nothing really to be proud of. But Im Proud of my kids and how far they have come. They are the light of my life and the Warmth in my heart.
Lisa

17

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Hannah

18

summer 2013

S I LVE R LI NI NG M AGA ZI NE

Making It
The road from my house to Silver Hill for recovery was scary. But I made it. The activity I did was tough. The 28 long days was rough! Again I made it. Walking from the Martin Center, I climb the hill to Main House. It seemed impossible at first. But! Yes, I made it. Living and coping with strangers from different walks of life! Just not easy. Wow! I made it.
Florence

19

S ILV ER L IN IN G MAGA ZI N E

s u mmer 20 13

Be the Change
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him... We need not wait to see what others do. Gandhi
Main 3

20

SILVER HILL HOSPITAL 208 VALLEY ROAD NEW CANAAN, CT 06840

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